6 Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight

by Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD February 08, 2019 3 min read

 woman eating pizza in front of TV

Have you been watching what you eat and exercising but the scale is still not budging? Although it's incredibly frustrating to feel like you are doing everything right, there are many different reasons why you might not be seeing any results. Here are a few of the most common.

Eating too many calories

Your body requires a certain number of calories to function, but when you take in more than what your body needs, it stores the excess calories as fat. While the concept of “calories in versus calories out” may seem obvious, studies continually show that many people underestimate their calorie intake.

Temporarily tracking everything you eat and drink, for as little as a week, can help raise awareness of where those excess calories might be coming from. This includes nibbles while cooking, bites from your kid’s plate, samples at the grocery store, etc. All of these extras can add up.

Skipping resistance training

Resistance training can be the secret weapon in breaking your weight-loss plateau and reaching your weight goals. Resistance training builds lean muscle mass, increases metabolism and ultimately helps burn more fat.

Not comfortable with lifting weights? No problem. Begin by doing squats, push-ups or lunges without weights.

Lack of quality sleep

Sleep deprivation leads to hormone imbalance,sabotaging weight-loss efforts. With inadequate sleep, your body makes more ghrelin — the hormone that signals hunger in the brain. It also produces less leptin — the hormone that suppresses hunger and signals fullness to the brain.

Additionally, when overly tired, your body produces more cortisol, the “stress” hormone that can increase appetite.

For weight loss and general health, aim for at least seven hours of sleep a night. This will help to keep your hormones balanced and allow your body to maintain a healthy weight.

Not drinking enough water

Hunger can often be confused with thirst. Before reaching for a snack, try drinking a glass of water first. Research has shown that drinking water before meals and snacks reduces your total calorie intake. Boosting your water intake may also increase the number of calories you burn, as dehydration slightly slows metabolism.

Too much stress 

Life is stressful, there is no real way to escape it. Unfortunately, stress not only wreaks havoc on your mental health, but over time it impacts your physical health and impedes weight loss. During times of stress, your body releases cortisol. As mentioned above, this pesky hormone has been shown to increase appetite, intensifying cravings for “junk food” and setting the the stage for a sluggish metabolism. Emotional eating after a stressful day is not your fault, it’s your hormones!

While it may be difficult to avoid stress, the key to leading a healthier life is successful stress management. Some stress-management techniques include regular exercise, developing healthy sleep patterns, meditation and deep-breathing techniques. Learning to manage stress without resorting to food can help you achieve your weight-loss goals.

Not eating enough protein

Adequate protein is important to successful and sustainable weight loss. Having enough protein at your meals and snacks can boost your metabolism, help you to feel fuller for longer, and help curb those nagging cravings for high-calorie junk food. Lean protein sources include eggs, beans, lentils, legumes, chicken, fish, protein shakes and Greek yogurt. Try to have at least one of these choices at every meal and snack. Superfood Shakes make a great snack or meal replacement and include 20 grams of whey protein.

Your successful weight-loss journey will likely be a marathon, not a sprint. Taking these tips into consideration will help you to avoid some of the common missteps people make when trying to tip the scale in their favor.

About the Author

 Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD
Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD

Ana Reisdorf has 12 years of experience as a registered dietitian. She has a passion for creating health and nutrition content. She is the author of two books, the “Lupus Cookbook” and “The Anti-inflammatory Diet One-Pot Meals.” Find her at

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